The Flea Theater, under the leadership of artistic director Jim Simpson and producing director Carol Ostrow, is one of New York's leading Off Off Broadway companies. Established in 1996, the Flea is the winner of numerous Obie Awards, an Otto Award and a special Drama Desk Award for outstanding achievement.

The Flea Theater's facility in Tribeca includes both an 85-seat flexible theater and a 40-seat black-box space. When not presenting drama or comedy, the Flea offers dance and music events. There is usually something happening every night of the year.

Past Flea productions include Anne Nelson's The Guys; A.R. Gurney's O Jerusalem, Mrs. Farnsworth and Screen Play; Kate Robin's The Light Outside; Elizabeth Swados' JABU; Talking Bands' The Parrot; and Karen Finley's The Return of the Chocolate Smeared Woman and the Obie Award-winning Benten Kozo, as well as premieres by playwrights Mac Wellman and Len Jerkin, and performance artists such as Mabou Mines, LAVA LOVE and the New York Goofs, among many others.

The Flea Theater is also home to the Obie Award-winning Bat Theater Company, one of the most diverse and innovative young resident acting companies in Manhattan. The Bats perform extended runs of challenging classic and new plays, and they support the work of the many visiting performing artists.


The center's arts education programs offer either a brief glimpse or an extended insight into the varied African-based cultures. They are tailored to meet the needs of individual groups, and curriculum materials are provided.

In-Class Workshops: In one session, children explore performing, visual and language arts through music, dance, storytelling and crafts, concentrating on subjects such as Capoeira from Brazil or the Music and Dance of Puerto Rico.

Cultural Assemblies: Through music and dance performances in schools, students are introduced to cultural traditions and artistic expressions from around the world. A narrator representative of the cultural tradition being presented historically frames each presentation.

Artist Residencies: These in-school residencies focus on the performing, visual or language arts and culminate in a final presentation or project by the group.

Programs for Teachers
Parent and professional development workshops offered.